An important NY Supreme Court decision dismissing a parking ticket
This is the postman bites a dog story involving an NYC parking ticket dispute that reached the New York Supreme Court. The Court ruled against the NYC Parking Violation Bureau and overturned a courageous citizen’s parking ticket conviction.
Here’s the story.
An NYC parking ticket warrior charged Sanford F. Young with violating the weekday prohibition against parking between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. The summons noted the time of the offense as 6:59 p.m. Sound familiar?
Mr. Young pleaded not guilty and requested a hearing. He submitted his case online, where he presented a detailed description of how he knew he parked his car after 7:00 p.m. What do you think happened? You guessed it. He was found guilty by the administrative law judge. The reason given was that Mr. Young’s explanation was not persuasive.
Mr. Young appealed the adverse decision to the Appeals Board, which upheld the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. Not to be deterred, Mr. Young petitioned the NY Supreme Court for a hearing. The petition was granted and the summons was dismissed. This is a very important decision for private citizens who choose to fight their NY parking tickets.
Here’s the reason why the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Young.
When a citizen submits testimony refuting the charges against him/her that is “not patently incredible,” then the summons “must be dismissed absent the submission of additional evidence by the PVB to meet its ultimate burden.”
When you are charged with a parking violation, the summons acts as prima facie evidence of the charges against you. You must come forward with evidence that is not patently incredible to refute the charge. Once you accomplish this, the PVB is required to present evidence to defeat your evidence. Generally, the PVB does not come forward with additional evidence. It simply relies on the information on the parking ticket.
Here’s why this decision is so important.
The PVB argued that the ticket is sworn to by the enforcement officer or police officer, and sworn evidence should be accorded greater weight than the unsworn testimony of a citizen in an online hearing.
The Supreme Court ruled against this argument. In a scathing rebuke of the PVB, the Supreme Court said, you offer a citizen the right to contest a parking ticket in an online hearing, and then you tell the citizen that he can never win because his testimony is unsworn. This amounts to a denial of due process, and will not be permitted by the NY Supreme Court.
This practice of ruling against citizens in online hearings for lack of sworn testimony or evidence is a common practice. Here’s how you fight this practice:
1) Submit an affidavit containing the facts of your defense, supplementing your online testimony. 2) Submit documentary proof to support your defense. 3) If you are found guilty for this reason, you can appeal the decision, citing this case and win.
2) Submit documentary proof to support your defense.
3) If you are found guilty for this reason, you can appeal the decision, citing this case and win.
This is a very important decision in favor of people who are charged with parking violations in NYC. Please feel free to download the full 5-page opinion.